Edited by Godfrey Baldacchino and Anders Wivel
Questions about ‘modernity’, including assessment of its penetration and reach, dominate scholarly and policy discourse on the Pacific. The relatively late and thin veneer of colonialism is one reason for this. The apparent absence of modernist development is another. What is holding the region back and how might this be remedied? This chapter reviews different answers to this key question. Smallness has been central to each iteration of this discussion. A series of paradoxes loom: the Pacific is too modern and not modern enough; underdeveloped and paradise lost; an ‘ocean of democracy’ and an ‘arc of instability’; a progressive champion of climate change and a conservative bastion of patriarchy. Each characteristic intersects with ‘modernity’ at different points and implies different understandings of size and scale.
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